With its surreal landscape of ochre dunes, vast salt pans, and jagged peaks, Namibia is one of the most spectacular countries on the planet. It also has an amazing story of wildlife conservation, with 45 percent of its land under conservation management, much of it held by local communities.
On our extraordinary safari—a world exclusive offered by Wilderness Travel and limited to just six participants—we join our renowned safari guide Jason Nott to track cheetah on foot at famed AfriCat, the world’s largest big-cat rehabilitation project, then search for leopard on the great salt pans of World Heritage-listed Etosha National Park. In stunning Damaraland, we follow desert-adapted elephant, track desert rhino in this dramatic wilderness, and meet with the field staff of the Save the Rhino Trust to learn about their vital work in preventing poaching.
Our incredible grand finale brings you to our mobile camp in remote Kaokoveld, where we join field biologists of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation for two days of tracking and radio-collaring giraffes in the wild. Giraffe numbers have plummeted in the past 30 years, and giraffe are now extinct in at least seven African countries. We learn from—and work directly with—Dr. Julian Fennessy, Africa’s leading authority on giraffe conservation. Our entire safari will brim with thrilling moments, but our time in the field with Julian and his team is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as we observe them immobilizing giraffes then assist them in fitting the giraffe with GPS radio collars. Participating in this safari, you will be an integral part of this crucial work—the first-ever long-term monitoring of giraffe in all Africa. Our accommodations are a mix of gorgeous lodges and atmospheric camps where we are looked after by a caring, warm tribe of “safari magicians” who love what they do. This exclusive safari will engage, educate, and welcome you to be part of a crucial conservation project for African wildlife. A tax-deductible conservation fee goes directly to support the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. In the words of our dedicated Trip Leader Jason Nott, we invite you to stick your necks out for the conservation of the world’s tallest animal!
Days 1-2, Jul 7- 8, 2017
Windhoek / Okonjima / AfriCat
From Windhoek, head to Okonjima and visit the AfriCat Foundation, the largest cheetah and leopard rescue-and-release program in the world. We'll search for leopard, track cheetah on foot, and keep an eye out for the many bird species found here. Keep your camera handy, because thanks to our expert guides and radio collars on the area’s leopards and cheetahs, you have an excellent opportunity to see these elusive big cats up close. In the evening, keep your eyes (and ears) out for nocturnal wildlife—the sound of Namibian porcupine’s quills clacking is unforgettable, and the elusive honey badger sometimes makes an appearance.
Days 3-4, Jul 9-10, 2017
Etosha National Park / Ongava Lodge
Etosha is a haven for 93 mammal species and 340 bird species, with salt pans and mineral springs that attract an immense variety of wildlife in a concentrated area, including elephant, lion, giraffe, blue wildebeest, eland, kudu, gemsbok (oryx), zebra, rhino, cheetah, and leopard.
Days 5-6, Jul 11-12, 2017
Damaraland / Himba / Huab Under Canvas
We visit a remote Himba settlement, then continue to our private “under canvas” camp in remote Damaraland. Here we look for desert-adapted wildlife, including rhino. Other residents here may include elephants, giraffe, oryx, springbok, and even some predators such as cheetah and leopard. Sundowner views from camp are expansive and peaceful, and the starry night skies must be seen to be believed.
Days 7-8, Jul 13-14, 2017
Damaraland / Twyfelfontain / Camp Kipwe
Deeper in Damaraland, we find ancient river terraces and magnificent table-topped mountains. This land is home to a variety of desert-adapted wildlife, including elephant. We also view the remarkable rock art sprawled across the red sandstone hills of Twyfelfontein, a World Heritage Site.
Days 9-11, Jul 15-17, 2017
Kaokoveld / Giraffe Collaring / Hoanib Mobile Expedition Camp
We head to our private mobile camp in Kaokoveld to join field biologists of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation for two special days of tracking and radio-collaring giraffes in the wild. Our host for this hands-on experience is Dr. Julian Fennessy, Africa’s leading authority on giraffe conservation. Our time in the field with Julian and his conservationists and vets will be incredible as we help them track and immobilize giraffe and fit them with GPS radio collars, working as an integral part of the ground team.
Days 12-13, Jul 18-19, 2017
Windhoek / Depart
After bidding farewell to the giraffe team that we worked with for the last two days, we head to the Doro Nawas airstrip and fly to Windhoek. Depart on Day 13 on homeward-bound flights.